A Big Assist

A new $26 million gift places Peter and Ann Tombros among the university's top five all-time donors.

Longtime Penn State supporters Ann and Peter Tombros ’64, ’68 MS Agr recently committed $26 million to the university, a gift that places them among the top five donors in Penn State’s history. Their generosity will benefit programs and create an endowment to fuel innovation and encourage others to support the institution.

“The love that Peter and Ann Tombros feel for Penn State has manifested in many ways over the decades,” says Penn State President Eric Barron. “This new commitment is a breathtaking declaration of their enduring faith in the university’s potential to lead the way in higher education.”

That commitment creates a first-of-its-kind fund for the university’s top leadership. The Peter and Ann Cullen Tombros Endowment will provide the Penn State president with support that can be used to supply seed grants for pilot initiatives; foster philanthropy and volunteering among the Penn State community; and encourage other donors by providing matching funds for their gifts.

The new commitment will endow two leadership positions: The Peter and Ann Tombros Dean’s Chair will provide a pool of flexible funding for the leader of the College of Agricultural Sciences; and the Peter and Ann Tombros Head Coach for men’s basketball will enhance opportunities for student-athletes through scholarships, travel, and equipment.

The landmark commitment will also support two funds for the university’s medical enterprise that will honor Ann’s late father and support new generations of health care researchers and leaders; and a musical theater endowment in the College of Arts and Architecture.

“We are glad that we can establish these funds and provide support in perpetuity for the talented, ambitious students, faculty, and leaders who will define what it means to be a Penn Stater in the future,” Ann Tombros says.